2021_11_24 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- John 11-12
One of Jesus’ dear friends, Lazarus, died. When Jesus got near the home where Lazarus and his sisters lived this is what happened:
“When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” 38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” John 11:32–39 (NLT)
Jesus raised Lazarus from death and restored his life, but there is something else here I want to look at… twice we read that Jesus was deeply angry (vs. 33 and 38). “Embrimasthai” is the Greek word originally used, and it can be translated as angry, troubled, upset, stern or harsh. (Fun Fact: Outside the Bible, this unusual Greek word was typically used to describe a horse snorting… yes you read that right… some think this means Jesus was so upset that he made some type of involuntary sound from deep within him.) With any of the translations, you get the picture of someone who is seriously bothered by something or someone. Some commentators suggest that Jesus was upset and angry at the lack of faith among the mourners. I suppose this is possible, but I don’t see this as the best answer. I believe that Jesus was reacting to the grief and loss that His close friends were feeling. Death and loss are a consequence of living in a broken world. The brokenness of this world is a direct consequence of sin – mine, yours and everyone’s. Soon after this Jesus would sacrifice His life so that we are able to find freedom and hope from sin. Yes, we will physically die, but like Him, we will be resurrected into new life just like Martha says in 11:24.
I believe in this snapshot of Jesus’ life we see Him express anger at the impact sin has, and soon we will see Him provide the cure!